Setien on Lautaro Martinez links: ‘Barcelona always are interested in great players’

Barcelona boss Quique Setien has hinted the club want to sign Inter striker Lautaro Martinez this summer: “Barcelona are always interested in great players.”

The Coach also suggested that the chance to play club football with Lionel Messi would be of interest to any player, particularly any forwards.

“Lautaro Martinez is a great footballer and an important player and Barcelona are always interested in great players,” Setien told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Does Messi like him? We should ask him. All the good players can attract Barcelona’s interest.

“But in these times without football, a different name comes out every day. There’s also been talk of Neymar. And I’m sure you’ll ask me about Fabian Ruiz.

“It’s also true that, for many players, the fact of being able to play with Messi represents a huge incentive.”

A multitude of reports have linked the Catalan club to Argentine striker Martinez, who holds a €111m release clause at the Milanese giants.

A report in El Mundo Deportivo from February claimed that it was a ‘war’ between Barcelona and their El Clasico rivals Real Madrid for Martinez, who is said to be Barca’s primary transfer target.

It had been thought that Barcelona had led the way in the race for the 22-year-old, whom they had identified as the long-term successor to the ageing Luis Suarez.

The Argentine international has netted 16 goals 31 appearances for the Milanese giants this campaign and has particularly impressed in European competition, scoring five in six outings in the Champions League.

Martinez’s current deal runs to June 2023 and was signed in July 2018, when Inter paid Racing Club a reported €22.7m for his services and he has swiftly established himself as a star in Italy.

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